10 Best & Worst BMW 4-Series Years (With Facts & Stats)

BMW rebadged the 2-door version of the popular 3-Series as the 4-Series in 2014.

Despite the name change, the 4-Series continues to be the benchmark that other luxury sport coupes aspire to emulate, thanks to its outstanding performance, handling, refinement, and cutting-edge tech.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the best and worst model years of the 4-Series spanning the last two generations.

Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The BMW 4-Series Are:

The best BMW 4-Series model years are 2023, 2020, 2022, 2019, 2018 and 2016. The worst model years of the 4-Series are the 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2021. This is based on auto industry reviews, NHTSA statistics, reported problems, and consumer feedback.

What Are The Best Years For The BMW 4-Series?

2023 BMW 4-Series

By the latter half of the 2023 model year’s production run, the 4-Series received the latest iDrive which has a large curved display that stretches from the driver’s side to the center of the dash.

This significantly modernizes the interior and brings it in line with BMW’s latest models, as well as other luxury coupes from its main rivals.

The newer iDrive screen will also help prop up the car’s resale value in the future compared to cars with the older style infotainment.

Other than the larger screen, the 2023 model is pretty much the same as the previous two model years of the second generation G22 4-Series.

The 430i and M440i also have very reliable engines which have been used in lots of BMW models since 2017.

The base 430i is already a very good choice for those looking for a sporty yet refined daily driver with lots of curb appeal.

It has 255 hp and goes from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.8 seconds and gets up to 34 mpg on the highway.

The M440i and the performance oriented M4 models offer an even more thrilling driving experience.

This generation of the 4-Series has also received lots of glowing reviews from owners. 

2023 BMW 4-Series:

  • Edmunds: 4.7 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 5.0 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 82 / 100

2023 BMW 4-Series, Edmunds review:

“I have owned a number of sports cars throughout the years and this one, hands down, is the best one that I have ever owned. It is comfortable, stylish, fun, and always has the power you need to accelerate and go as fast you want. I refer to the speed of the vehicle as one of its best safety features when used right.   Incredibly it is also fuel efficient. Quite simply, my wife and I love this car. In fact, my wife often wants to just go for a drive. She hasn’t wanted to do that for decades. Love how quiet the convertible is when the top is up and that the wind deflector comes with the car.”  

2020 BMW 4-Series

The 2020 4-Series is the final model year of the first generation and has all of the incremental updates of the older models.

For this model year, the Active Driving Assistant package now comes standard in all variants, starting with the 430i up to the M4.

This includes automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and rain-sensing wipers.

It is also the last year a manual transmission was offered in the standard 4-Series models, which is an absolute must-have for lots of enthusiasts. 

With the second generation 4-Series, only the M4 has a manual transmission option.

This is also the final year of the hard-top convertible. The latest generation has switched to a soft top.

Many BMW enthusiasts also prefer the looks of the first generation 4-Series and find the large front grill of the G22 model quite polarizing.

Power numbers for these final years of the F32 4-Series also aren’t that far off from the latest models since they use basically the same engines — apart from the M4 models. 

2020 BMW 4-Series:

  • Edmunds: 4.5 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.8 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 82 / 100

2020 BMW 4-Series, Cars.com review:

“This is a hard top convertible, and is really easy to drive, and with the wind screen in back, there’s no wind at all in the front seat. The top going up and down looks like a transformer evolving, and never ceases to draw attention. It handles effortlessly and is a joy to drive.”

2022 BMW 4-Series

The 2022 4-Series is largely unchanged from the 2021 model, but allows you to avoid any reliability quirks of the new platform since it’s the second model year of the G22 generation.

The second generation M440i also gets rear-wheel drive for the first time, which makes it more playful in the twisties. The 2021 model only came with all-wheel drive.

The high-performance M4 also gets an all-wheel drive option for this model year, on top of the standard rear-wheel drive configuration.

The rear-wheel drive configuration should improve the fuel economy a bit, as long as you adjust your driving habits accordingly.

The second generation 4-Series also comes standard with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, whereas the first gen was only compatible with CarPlay.

However, if you want the latest and greatest tech, the larger screen of the later 2023 models is a significant step up.

2022 BMW 4-Series:

  • Edmunds: 4.6 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 5.0 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 82 / 100

2022 BMW 4-Series, Edmunds.com review:

“This one is a keeper. First impression is smooth, quiet and raciness when you need it. The driver’s cockpit is comfortable with all the tech you can ask for at your fingertips or through voice command “Hey BMW”.  The car looks great and in my opinion the grill gives a new positive twist to the BMW image. I have owned a 2020 M4 Competition and sold it early due to the stiff uncomfortable ride. Not a good daily commute, and can only use a small fraction of the power output on local streets. If you’re looking for a good looking BMW with great acceleration that can become a smooth daily commute, then consider the new 430i series.” 

2018 and 2019 BMW 4-Series

BMW added a lot of important updates to the 2018 and 2019 4-Series both inside and out, setting them apart from the older models.

Although BMW the 4-Series got two new engine options for the 2017 model year, the LCI (Life Cycle Impulse) updates started with the 2018 model year.

The refreshed LCI models have new styling cues in the front and rear, LED lights as standard, and a few interior updates.

BMW also tweaked the suspension and steering of the LCI models to make the car more sporty and improve its overall performance.

2018 was also the first year the 4-Series got Apple CarPlay which significantly ups the usability of the infotainment system. 

By the 2019 model year, CarPlay became a standard feature in every BMW 4-Series. Navigation and parking sensors, which were previously only available as options, also became standard.

2018 BMW 4-Series:

  • Edmunds: 4.6 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.8 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 86 / 100

2019 BMW 4-Series:

  • Edmunds: 4.5 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.8 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 83 / 100

2019 BMW 4-Series, Edmunds.com review:

“I have leased 3 six cylinder turbo BMW convertibles, 2 335i and a 435i . I decided to go with 2019 430i   turbo 4 this time, and I must say it’s surprisingly peppy and fun to drive. I barely notice the difference in power during everyday driving.”

2016 BMW 4-Series

The 2016 4-Series is a good choice if you’re looking to save a bit of money but want to avoid potential reliability issues.

By the 2016 model year, BMW already fixed the potential timing chain issues of the 428i’s N20 and N26 engine.

Many older 3 and 4-Series owners had issues with premature wear of the plastic timing chain guide which sometimes led to catastrophic engine failures.

This was eventually fixed in early 2015, but older 2015 models still had the older timing chain parts.

You can avoid all this by simply skipping the 2014 and 2015 models altogether, and just go straight to the 2016 4-Series.

The optional Track Handling Package which features better brakes, adaptive dampers and variable sport steering was also introduced for this model year.

2016 is also the second model year of the BMW M4 which was equipped with the new S55 engine, so you should be able to avoid any early production issues and quirks.

2016 BMW 4-Series:

  • Edmunds: 4.6 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.8 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 85 / 100

2016 BMW 4-Series, Edmunds.com review:

“The handling of my 428iX is superb. In dry conditions you can point and go. In wet it is exceptional. Four modes of driving make this car fun to drive and if necessary, economical. Engine must be kept in higher RPM to enjoy the power. Hesitant off the line for a brief second then hold on. Paddle shifters make it fun to drive in sharp turns, etc. Heads up display is excellent. Voice commands are excellent both in radio, phone and navigation. 33 mpg on the highway at 65 mph. Can run on 89 octane if necessary. The ultimate driving machine.’

Consumer Scores For the Best BMW 4-Series Years

Model YearEdmunds
Consumer Rating
Kelley Blue Book
Consumer Rating
JD Power
Consumer Rating
2023 BMW 4-Series4.7 / 5.05.0 / 5.082 / 100
2020 BMW 4-Series4.5 / 5.04.8 / 5.082 / 100
2022 BMW 4-Series4.6 / 5.05.0 / 5.082 / 100
2019 BMW 4-Series4.5 / 5.04.8 / 5.083 / 100
2018 BMW 4-Series4.6 / 5.04.8 / 5.086 / 100
2016 BMW 4-Series4.6 / 5.04.8 / 5.085 / 100

What Are The Worst Years For The BMW 4-Series?

2014 & 2015 BMW 4-Series

The 2014 and 2015 model years of the BMW 4-Series can suffer from timing chain issues that can potentially lead to major engine damage.

Timing chain problems are only a problem on the 428i which was equipped with the N20 and N26 engine.

These engines have been in service since 2011 and many older BMWs, including the 3-Series, suffered from loose or broken timing chains as the plastic timing chain guides wore out prematurely.

“I have had 2 BMW’s both with N20 engines, and this issue plagued both vehicles. They both had the TC whine, but my F30 got into a car accident and was totaled out before it could be addressed.” 

Although reports of timing chain issues are quite rare for the 2014 to 2015 models, BMW was only able to completely update the problematic components in early 2015. 

Being the oldest model years of the 4-Series, they are also more prone to typical BMW problems like oil and coolant leaks as the plastics and seals wear out over time.

“BMW 435i F32 w/ N55 (2014, 63k mi). Noticed coolant lines (turbo-side), specifically the coolant supply line, and oil pipe outlet are leaking a bit.” 

The 2014 and 2015 model years of the 428i and 435i also had a fuel pump recall because many owners encountered stalling and starting issues.

“All of the sudden 435ix dies, engine instantly off. Warning about fuel supply. It was all I could do to wrestle the dead steering to prevent smashing into the walls.”

  • The 2014 BMW 4-Series had a total of 41 complaints on the NHTSA website
  • The 2015 BMW 4-Series had a total of 63 complaints on the NHTSA website

Common problems:

  • Low oil pressure
  • Coolant leaks
  • Blown charge pipe
  • Exhaust rattle/squeak 
  • Fuel pump recall
  • Faulty timing chain components 

2017 BMW 4-Series

2017 was the first year the B48 and B58 engines were used in the BMW 4-Series, which usually means more teething problems and reliability issues.

Even though these engines are regarded as two of the most bulletproof BMW engines in the past few decades, it’s still a good idea to avoid the early versions.

“Recently purchased a 2017 440i M Sport from the dealership last year. So far we’ve had issues with electrical which was fixed with a software update however there is a low voltage problem which the dealership told us was our fault for leaving various things on but that isn’t the case.”

Many of these early production issues should have already been addressed by TSBs (Technical Service Bulletins) and software updates. 

But some issues might have fallen through the cracks and might cause you some annoyance or even major headaches down the road.  

Another thing to consider is that despite the engine and model updates, the 2017 4-Series still doesn’t have the LCI updates so it still looks like an older model.

It also doesn’t come with Apple CarPlay which is a deal breaker for lots of potential owners.

  • The 2017 BMW 4-Series had a total of 17 complaints on the NHTSA website

Common Problems:

  • Outdated tech
  • Early engine issues
  • Coolant leaks
  • Oil leaks
  • Blown charge pipe

2021 BMW 4-Series

The 2021 4-Series was the first year of the G42 model but it lacks the large curved display that was introduced in 2023.

This immediately makes the car look a bit dated and can affect future resale values.

Being a first model year, it’s also more prone to teething issues.

One of the more common problems owners have reported for this generation of the 4-Series, as well as the 3-Series, is that the steering tends to require small corrections when traveling at speed.

“I’ve taken my G22 to the dealership twice, but they can’t duplicate what I’m feeling. At highways speeds, there is a sensation of minor play in the steering, accompanied by an inaudible pop or bump when I correct steering.”

This might just be caused by improper alignment or tire balancing, but might also require an actual fix through a future TSB (Technical Service Bulletin).

Early models of a new platform are also more prone to electrical and software glitches, which can usually be addressed by updates. But if you want to avoid the possibility of encountering lots of small annoying issues, it’s better to pick up a newer model.

At the time of writing the 2021 4-Series already has 4 recalls, outnumbering all the other model years so far. 

  • The 2021 BMW 4-Series has a total of 4 complaints on the NHTSA website 

Common Problems:

  • Lacks curved display
  • Software and electrical glitches
  • Steering play

What Years Have The Most Complaints?

Model YearComplaints (NHTSA.gov)Recalls (NHTSA.gov)
2023 BMW 4-Series00
2022 BMW 4-Series23
2021 BMW 4-Series44
2020 BMW 4-Series22
2019 BMW 4-Series93
2018 BMW 4-Series231
2017 BMW 4-Series173
2016 BMW 4-Series433
2015 BMW 4-Series632
2014 BMW 4-Series412

What Problems Do BMW 4-Series Have?

  • Blown charge pipe
  • Coolant leaks
  • Possible timing chain issues
  • Oil leaks
  • Water pump failure
  • Fuel pump recall

Related: 12 Common BMW 4 Series Problems (Explained)

What Are The Best Alternatives To The BMW 4-Series?

Make & ModelScoreMSRPFuel Economy (MPG)
Acura Integra8.8$31,500 – $36,50026-30 City / 36-37 Hwy
Mercedes Benz C Class8.7$44,850 – $90,00016-25 City / 24-36 Hwy
Audi A58.6$44,600 – $53,90024 City / 31-33 Hwy
Genesis G708.5$39,400 – $47,00017-21 City / 26-31 Hwy
Kia Stinger8.4$36,690 – $54,09017-22 City / 24-32 Hwy
BMW 3-Series8.4$43,800 – $58,40023-25 City / 31-34 Hwy
Volvo S608.1$41,300 – $50,30025-26 City / 33-35 Hwy
Alfa Romeo Giulia8$44,280 – $48,32023-24 City / 31-33 Hwy
BMW 4-Series7.9$47,600 – $70,55022-25 City / 31-34 Hwy
Lexus RC7.2$44,670 – $53,9459-21 City / 26-31 Hwy
Infiniti Q507.2$42,650 – $58,50019-20 City / 26-29 Hwy
Cadillac CT46.2$34,595 – $61,49515-23 City / 23-34 Hwy

Source: cars.usnews.com











  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...